Your essential round-up of the day’s biggest health stories and debate
- Today’s must know: Hospitals given new bed occupancy target as NHS braces for winter
- Today’s talking point: MP calls for debate on ‘revolving door of failed NHS managers’
- Today’s risk: Trust employee arrested on suspicion of tampering with saline bags
- Today’s inspiration: Extra £86m to fund NHS technology and innovation
- Today’s appointment: CCG and council appoint ‘first of its kind’ joint chief
Winter is coming…
The vast number of requirements fired out to local NHS organisations on Friday in the guises of a letter, best practice guideance and winter review was a good indication of the centre’s anxiety about the upcoming winter.
The new orders, as reported by HSJ, also came just 24 hours after official data showed four hour waiting time performance was in decline year on year in spring, despite NHS bosses making it their top priority.
The news prompted concerns from royal colleges and, HSJ understands, system leaders alike.
NHS England and NHS Improvement’s new orders for both providers and commissioners included requirements for:
- Hospitals to meet a new set of best practice standards around improving patient flow this financial year or face sanctions.
- Providers to keep bed occupancy levels below 92 per cent.
- Closer working with local government to prepare for demand spikes.
- CCGs to “submit agreed delayed discharges targets by 21 July”.
System leaders do stress they understand that local organisations are working extremely hard in extremely challenging conditions, but there is no hiding from the enormity of the challenge ahead.